What the Pope Has in Common with Republicans

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Recently Pope Francis has received criticism from the Republican party, particularly the campaign of Donald Trump, due to his border visit during his Mexico trip. He has been known to denounce capitalism, exploitation, and the abuse of the environment. The Pope is known for having a more progressive view on immigration matters and the death penalty, and he has decried the sale of weapons that could harm innocent lives.

Be that as it may, he has also found common ground with Republicans. Just because Pope Francis does not agree with Republicans doesn’t mean he’s a Democrat. His political views are shaped by his religious beliefs. Here are some things the Pope has in common with the GOP:

Same Sex Marriage 

Pope Francis has stated marriage is between a man and woman. In the Philippines, His Holiness said that those who want to redefine marriage differently are engaging inideological colonization.He said that distinguishing between same-sex and heterosexual marriages is tantamount to respecting differences. Regardless, he has also said he is not one to judge LGBT members of the Church.

Birth Control

Even though he recently said that birth control isn’t evil in places highly affected by the Zika virus, the Pope still upholds his view on how it should not be used in other places. Pope Francis cited a decree by Pope Paul VI that made an exception for nuns stationed in Africa to use birth control because of the risk of rape. He still called doctors to looking for a vaccine quickly though. Many Republicans continue to push for abstinence only plans in schools, and continue to rally against employers having to provide health insurance that covers birth control. 

Secularism 

He has cautioned against “modern society’s push for a unified secular ideology” stating it created “adolescent progressivism” This is quite understandable considering he is the leader of a Church that is at odds with the idea of secularism, but it is also in line with many religious Republicans, who occasionally push for religious rights to supersede national law, most often in the case of same sex marriage, and the rights of Christians to refuse service based on religious beliefs. Furthermore many on what is sometimes called “The Religious Right” often try to break down the barriers of the separation of Church and State on the issues of prayer in school and what could be seen as a religiously slanted sexual education syllabus.

Abortion

Pope Francis also refused to discuss abortion in his address to Congress. He instead discussed his beliefs in traditional, heterosexual families. This is where his progressive points of view are more in like with traditional GOP arguments about marriage. Still, the GOP was already aware that the Pope opposes abortion.

Pope Francis has the support of Republican Catholics despite their political differences. In part, this has to do with the fact that Pope Francis also makes the Democratic Party uncomfortable as well. His political views are more a part of his religious beliefs, and that’s quite similar to how the GOP sees Christianity. Even Senator Marco Rubio, himself a Catholic, said he follows the teachings of Catholicism 100% despite any political differences between himself and Pope Francis. Speaker John Boehner also felt especially moved, since meeting the Pope had apparently been a lifelong dream of his.

When looking at the history of Catholicism in the United States, it is important to remember how Catholics were often persecuted by a Protestant majority. Especially in the case of the second wave of Irish immigrants that came to the US. JFK was the first Catholic President of the United States, and when running he was questioned often on his allegiance to the Pope.

Prior to his triumph, many believed that Catholics would serve the Pope before the American people. This question of alliegence is often still felt for duel citizens of the United States, as well as Jews who are often accused of supporting Israel first. American Muslims, who are unfairly accused of putting the laws of the Koran and other religious texts above US law, when as discussed this is often also the case with Christians demanding religious freedom.


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